You should never feed your dog cooked chicken bones - but raw chicken bones are a different matter
Fifteen years ago I changed my dogs’ diet to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. However, I prefer to call it a natural diet, because it is. I’m convinced it is the best way to feed a dog, although of course you have to bear in mind the specific requirements of individual dogs.
Breakfasting on raw chicken wings
My late spaniel, Fleur, couldn’t cope with big bones, but chicken wings were a different matter. She consumed these with enthusiasm, crunching up a wing for breakfast every morning. Having been brought up to believe that giving a dog a chicken bone was dangerous, I was nervous about doing this at first.
However I soon realised I was worrying unnecessarily. It is cooked chicken bones that are hazardous (because they are brittle) but when raw they make excellent food for dogs.
If you want further information about the BARF diet, visit the Canine Health Concern website. It says: “Raw chicken on the bone is without doubt the very best form in which to feed your dog most of its requirements of meaty bones… The bones come from 10-week-old birds so are extremely soft. Once your dog has crunched through the flesh, the bones are very safely crushed. Contrast this with cooked chicken, where the flesh is beautifully soft, but the bones have gone brittle and sometimes quite splintery. These are dangerous!”
“Raw wings have the best fatty acid content of all animal bones. They are beautifully balanced with respect to their bone-to-flesh ratio, and when raw, they are soft and safe.”
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How soon can a puppy eat raw chicken wings?
A reader recently asked me when raw chicken wings could be added to a puppy’s diet. With my last litter we started offering chicken wings at five weeks as part of their weaning and the puppies had a great time gnawing on them. It did take them some time to consume a wing, but it kept them busy and happily occupied.
None of these puppies had an upset stomach or diarrhoea during the time they spent with us before going to their new homes.